During our English classes at CEIP Ria de Vigo, we have attempted to offer a varied and diverse exploration of UK culture. We have primarily done this through the study of two sources, both a novel and a film.
The first term was dedicated primarily to the study of Billy Elliot. The film was used as a means for further exploring and analysing various aspects of UK culture. We examined aspects of the film, such as its portrayal of the British Class System, the events of the 1984 Miners´ Strike, as well as the distinct dialect of North East England. Often pupils are exposed only to a certain type of UK accent. We believed it important that our pupils be exposed to different regional accents within the UK. Our study of the film also enabled us to consider more universal concerns such as gender roles and social stereotypes. Watching the film, with subtitles and analysis, allowed for the students to practice their listening skills. We thought it important that the pupils hear more ´natural´and vernacular English as well as more formal varieties.
In the second term, we decided to study Charles Dickens´ classic and canonical novel, ‘Oliver Twist´. We examined the often difficult life of those living in Victorian London, exploring social issues such as poverty and child labour- a particularly pertinent topic considering the age of the pupils. Studying the novel allowed the children to practice and improve their reading and comprehension skills whilst reading an important work of English literature.
Ana Isabel Ferreirós Rey.